Gingivitis refers to the inflammation of the gingiva or gums. It is generally caused by poor dental hygiene and if left untreated it can lead to more severe conditions such as periodontitis and tooth loss. It causes the gum to become red, irritated, and swollen as well as a tendency to bleed easily. Given that almost 80% of the US population has some form of gum disease, it can be said that Gingivitis is a very common condition. Treatment usually involves professional cleaning and the use of an antibacterial mouthwash.
There are certain things that put a person at risk for developing Gingivitis, such as:
– Poor oral hygiene
– Dry mouth
– Nutritional deficiencies
– Tobacco use
– Compromised immunity
– Hormonal changes
– Old age
– Poorly done dental work, etc.
– Swelling of the gums
– Redness of the gums
– Bad Breath
– Bleeding gums (after brushing/flossing)
– Tenderness of gums
– Receding gums (In long term cases)
Gingivitis most commonly caused by poor oral hygiene that leads to the build-up of plaque on the teeth. Plaque is full of bacteria that live off of sugar and starches. If plaque is not removed with daily brushing, flossing, and antibacterial agents, it becomes tartar. Tartar is a hard substance that is more difficult to get rid of. Tartar results in the build-up of bacteria and irritates the gums. The continued irritation of the gum line leads to inflammation and swelling. This is the point at which a patient develops Gingivitis and should be treated promptly to prevent complications.
Before going into therapeutics, it is crucial to understand that maintaining proper oral hygiene is the most important factor for managing gingivitis. This can be accomplished by brushing your teeth daily, flossing, and using a safe and effective mouthwash. If you have an excessive build-up of plaque, you may need professional dental cleanings such as scaling and root planing. However, certain remedies such as the ones mentioned below, do have the ability to get rid of plaque if used correctly and with the proper supervision of an Ayurvedic doctor.
The following remedies can be used as mouthwashes for reducing plaque and treating gingivitis naturally:
Triphala is an Ayurvedic formulation made up of three ingredients – Emblica Officinalis, Terminalia Billerica, and Terminalia Chebula. This combination has been studied for its ability to treat a wide range of conditions including gingivitis, Diabetes type 2, obesity, and precancerous oral lesions. Triphala has been used in multiple clinical trials for treated Gingivitis and periodontal disease. For example, in one clinical trial, a Triphala mouth wash was found to be highly effective in reducing plaque accumulation, gingival health, and microbial levels (see study). It is recommended to use regular Triphala powder mixed in warm water as a mouthwash rather than products labeled as Triphala mouthwashes that contain various additives and preservatives.
Known botanically as Punata Granatum, Pomegranate is has gained popularity for being a powerful medicine for multiple conditions including various aspects of heart disease, heavy menstrual bleeding, and gingivitis. Pomegranate is rich in extremely potent antioxidants known as Punicalagins and Punicic acid. In fact, the antioxidant activity of pomegranate is believed to be three times as powerful as that of red wine and green tea. It also possesses highly effective anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antifungal properties – specific to oral infections. In a clinical trial, a Pomegranate mouth was used for treating gingivitis in patients with Diabetes. The pomegranate mouthwash was found to be more effective than the gold standard Chlorhexidine mouthwash (see study).
Tulsi is an Ayurvedic herb known for its immunity-boosting benefits. It has been proven to reduce stress levels, improve immune function, reduce blood sugar, regulate blood pressure, and treat gingivitis. It has powerful antiseptic properties and is used in various Ayurvedic formulations for treating a wide range of illnesses including infections. In a triple-blind randomized controlled trial, a Tulsi mouthwash was found to be equally effective as Chlorhexidine in reducing plaque, gingival inflammation, and gingival bleeding (see study).
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(Always use medicinal herbs under the supervision of a doctor)
by Dr. Nishal R.
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